As a mother of two under five, I know first-hand how overwhelming it can be when you find out you have this tiny little human to care for. From the moment you conceive, your life almost flips upside down. You are told by medical professionals not to eat certain things, you are inundated with friends offering their words of wisdom, to even family members preaching baby gospel – it seems that when you are pregnant, people pretty much anyone can´t help to tell you what to do and how to do it.
With my first child, I didn´t have my family close and I gave birth in a country where my knowledge at the time of the French language was pretty obsolete. In a way, I guess looking back now, that was a blessing….I had to make my own choices even though at times that did feel a little overwhelming.
My second child was born back in my home country, Australia, less than two years ago. Two very different experiences and two very different approaches to each birth and of course how I approached the fourth trimester.
I remember with my first child, who is now five, I had everything! Nothing was spared, I guess I had the illusion that if I had a certain product, or type of baby apparatus, we would not run into any problems! I was after all a new mum, in a foreign country, not having the best of language skills and at the time I was not involved in any mum´s groups, as well as having no family to back me up. I was it…..
Living in France however, allowed me to take a more homeopathic approach to most things and the medical professionals I encountered, encouraged this. I kept it simple.
Once I became a mother, it ´woke´ me to the chemicals that children can be exposed to and I know that this was the beginning of a wave that has rippled inside of me ever since – to make sure that my children´s home was a safe a place as can be.
The approach to my second child, probably like so many of us, was a completely different story. We had relocated back to Australia for work commitments and I pretty much borrowed everything from friends. I did not go out and buy the latest products – I had learned (as we do) from my first experience, that this birth was going to be minimalist and I was going to allow myself to heal properly in my fourth trimester – something I never really did or understood with my first child.
So my advice to you if you are becoming a new mum is to follow your gut instinct – it´s nearly always 100% right. You are all your babies need. Remember to nourish yourself throughout all of you four trimesters – continue to move your body if it feels good and if at times, anything feels overwhelming seek help – it´s amazing when women come together and the energy that we can bring.
Love hard on yourself and your body – you created life and no matter how hard it can feel at times, be kind to yourself.
When it comes to keeping things natural and chemical free some simple protocols that I followed with both children was using coconut oil for bath time, just put a couple of drops into the bath water. I didn´t use any kind of soap on their bodies until they were about three months old.
I also make up my own simple nappy balm using a base of shea butter, bee´s wax, vitamin E, almond or fractionated coconut oil, tea tree and lavender essential oils, (you could add zinc oxide if you have a baby with harsh nappy rash but I never saw this with either of my two).
- 2 tbsp of shea butter
- 2 tbsp of coconut or almond oil
- 1 tsp beeswax
- couple of drops of vitamin E oil
- 1 drop of each for newborns, up to 2/3 drops when 6 months + of tea and lavender
Another easy, natural solution for a common thing like cradle cap is to massage almond oil into the scalp for cradle cap, if your baby is older than six months then you could add a drop of lavender oil to the almond oil as well.
I also make my own baby wipes as shop bought one´s can be irritating to babies skin plus a lot of them are not biodegradable.
- Take one roll of good quality paper towels
- Mix together 2 cups of warm water, 2 tbsp of fractionated coconut oil and 3 drops each of lavender and tea tree oils
- Cut the paper towel in half
- Pour the mix over the paper towels and place in an airtight container
- let it absorb for 10 mins
- turn the container over so you coat both sides of the paper towel
- remove the cardboard tube and just pull the wipes from the centre when ready to use
Alternatively you can purchase some bamboo cloths – about 15 will see you through, and use the same recipe (coconut oil, essential oils and water (maybe a little less perhaps) and store them in a plastic container – then wash them once used, creating zero waste and less hassle mess.
Essential oils that I recommend around babies are lavender and roman chamomile which are my favourites, you can also look at cedarwood and frankincense as well.
Any questions in regards to ingredients or other simple protocols then I would be happy to answer them so just get in touch.